UK Finance sets out future model for Open Banking

Banking industry trade body UK Finance has set out detailed proposals for a new service company to replace the Open Banking Implementation Entity.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is due to wind down the OBIE, handing over responsibility for running the UK’s Open Banking programme to the banking and finance industry.

Since 2016, the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), overseen by the Implementation Trustee, has played a key role in developing the standards, providing operational and technical services, and generally supporting the open banking community.

In its stead, the trade body is proposing the creation of a new service company, with firms paying “fair and equitably” for their use of central services.

The key elements of transition are to complete the governance, review whether the service capabilities are fit for purpose, introduce a new funding structure and carve out the monitoring elements. It is estimated that this process will run until Q1 2022 under the governance of the independent chair

It is proposed that the new entity will provide a set of service capabilities which meet the needs of the OB ecosystem and help ensure its stability and resilience. These include managing the centralised OB directory, maintaining technical standards and enabling future improvements.

It is envisaged that it will have a board comprised of an independent chair and a mix of independent, consumer and industry representatives. An advisory committee made up of member representatives and stakeholders, such as end-user representatives, industry bodies and regulators, will advise the board.

Jana Mackintosh, managing director of payments at UK Finance, says: “We know that it is vital that the industry works together to realise the opportunities for even greater innovation of a new generation of banking-related products and services. Our proposed model for the future service company will help facilitate these exciting developments for years to come.”

She adds that there is room for flexibility to accommodate changes outside of Open Banking and into other parts of finance and other industries, such as Open Finance and Smart Data. Such development would likely come under the aegis of a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary that would introduce a charging structure for third party providers for certain services that are considered “over above what they are entitled to by law”.

The Financial Conduct Authority is working on proposals to extend open banking rules to a wider range of products, under a new model billed as ‘Open Finance’.

The FCA believes that by making it easier for consumers and businesses to compare price and product features and switch product or provider, Open Finance could be beneficial to a wider range of services in the general insurance, cash savings and mortgage markets.

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